Operating, negotiating FTA agreements with APEC economies

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VLADIVOSTOK, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) are striving to forge a regional free trade facility to be known as FTAAP (Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific).

The following is operating and negotiating FTA agreements with APEC member economies.

Operating FTA agreements:

NAFTA - signed in December of 1992 and known in full as the North American Free Trade Agreement, it has removed taxes on products traded between Canada, Mexico and the United States; it also protects copyright, patents and trademarks; it was updated with the North American Agreement on Environment Cooperation.

APTA (Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement) - signed in 1975 as the longest standing preferential trade agreement among developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region, it is aimed at promoting economic development and cooperation through the adoption of mutually beneficial trade liberalization measures; the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement bloc includes Bangladesh, China, India, South Korea, Laos, Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Philippines; the accord opens to all developing members of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific.

AFTA (ASEAN Free Trade Area) - signed in January of 1992, it covers all 10 ASEAN members of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam and is aimed at increasing ASEAN's competitiveness as a production base through elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers.

TPP - signed in 5005, it is known in full as the Trans-Pacific Partnership which is a multilateral free trade accord that strives to liberalize the economies of the Asia-Pacific region; it originally included Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. Now negotiations have been underway to include more countries from the region.

Negotiating FTA agreements:

AEC - fully known as the ASEAN Economic Community, it is aimed at achieving a single market for free movement of goods, services, capital and skilled laborers among the ASEAN members.

EAFTA - or East Asia Free Trade Agreement or ASEAN+3 (China, Japan and South Korea), it is aimed at forging a free trade area among these economies.

CEPEA - or Comprehensive Economic Partnership for East Asia or ASEAN+6 (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea), it is aimed at forming a free trade area.